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 Vol. 8, No. 12 

December 2006

Youth Page

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Our Benevolent Sovereign

By Mark McWhorter

Image The Emperor Titus, who was naturally of the most benevolent disposition, was styled the darling and delight of the human race. It was a principle of his not to send away without hope any one who came to him. When those about him cautioned him against making more promises than he would be able to perform, he replied, "No one ought to go away in sorrow from an interview with his sovereign." Moreover on one occasion remembering at supper time that he had done nothing for any one the whole day, he uttered that memorable expression, worthy of all praise, "My friends, this day have I lost a day!" (Short Tales and Anecdotes From Ancient History by William Smith, 1866, p.22)

The Emperor Titus was a very benevolent man. Benevolent means giving someone what they need. Titus cared for people and was willing to do all that he could for those who came to him. But Titus was limited in what he could do. He was willing to give promises but at times was not able to keep those promises. The people looked to him as their sovereign. This means that they considered him the one with all authority. If he promised to give them something, they believed he had the power and authority to do it.

We have a Sovereign who is able to keep all promises. We have a Sovereign who wants us to ask him for what we need. We have a Sovereign who wants to give us what we need. Our Sovereign is God.

In 1 John 3:22 we read, "And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight." We must obey God if we want our prayers answered. We must be asking for things that we truly need, not things we want. We must ask for things that are according to his will, and we must do those things that are pleasing in His sight.

Study your Bible. Find out what you need to do to be pleasing to God. Obey God. Remember that you should be praying for the things that you need in life, and give thanks for all things to our Benevolent Sovereign. If any of these things are hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.Image

The Name Christian

By Mark McWhorter

What is your name? Is it Susan? Is it Trevor? Is it Igor? Is it Ludmilla? Does your name mean something to you? Would you want someone to call you by a different name?

In the Bible, names were very important at times. We first read about Abram and Sarai in Genesis Chapter Twelve. In Genesis 17, God changes Abram's name to Abraham, which means "for a father of many nations have I made thee." Sarai becomes Sarah, because "she shall be the mother of nations." Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, had his name changed to Israel, because "as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed" (Genesis 32:28).

The followers of Jesus have a name. It was prophesied that they would have name. In Isaiah 56:5, it is stated, "I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off." Notice that the name would be given by God. In Isaiah 56:4, it is said that the eunuchs would also be included in this new name and that the name would be "better than sons and of daughters." Then in Isaiah 62:2, we read, "...and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name."

In Acts 11:26, we read, "And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." Notice that the disciples of Jesus are named after him. There is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12). We are told to do all in the name of the Lord Jesus (Colossians 3:17). If we suffer as a Christian, we are not to be ashamed (1 Peter 4:16).

Some people say that the church was not planned by God. They say the church was established because Christ did not fulfill his plan. But God prophesied that those following Jesus would be called Christians. It seems silly to say that Jesus failed in God's plan. If that is true, then God also prophesied of Jesus' failure, because he stated that the followers of Jesus would be given a new name. That name is Christian.

When each person is old enough to understand and to take on the responsibility for his sins, he must choose whether or not to become a Christian. I am glad that God gave us a way to salvation. I am glad I can be called a Christian. I follow Christ, the Messiah. I follow the Son of God, who fulfilled all righteousness.

Read your Bible. Keep studying it every day. Learn what is necessary to be a Christian, and if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.Image

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